We know nothing about picking college football games but are hoping to one day to be as good as The Master. We’ll start out as any twenty-first century amateur should, with a six-pack of Schlitz, an online Magic 8-Ball, and a hell of a bunch of “gut feelings.” Also, we’ll stick to SEC games for this week. Luckily, this weekend’s lineup isn’t too mesmerizing.
Here’s the lineup (Central Standard Time / Broadcast):
Alabama at LSU (2:30 p.m. / CBS)
Arkansas at South Carolina (12:00 p.m.)
Tennessee-Martin at Auburn (1:30 p.m.)
Florida at Vanderbilt (7:00 p.m. / ESPN2)
Georgia at Kentucky (11:30 a.m. / Raycom)
Wyoming at Tennessee (12:00 p.m. / PPV)
OPEN: Ole Miss, Mississippi State
GAME OF THE WEEK:
ALABAMA at LSU (2:30 p.m. / CBS)
REST OF THE SEC:
ARKANSAS at SOUTH CAROLINA (12:00 p.m.)
When first-year SEC head coach Bob Petrino and Arkansas snuck past two bad opponents to begin the season, and then got drilled by three “pretty good” opponents the next three games, most people
confirmed to themselves what they’d been thinking since pre-season: Houston Nutt left that program in shambles.
This may be true, but Petrino’s Razorbacks have slowly improved over the past four weeks. We hear Petrino, when he’s not worrying about silly little decisions he may or may not have made in the past, is a hell of an offensive coach. A system like his, which rocked house at Louisville, takes time to develop, and it seems to be taking shape even though Arky’s got problems with talent and the defense is atrocious.
This game might depend on whether Gamecock quarterbacks Stephen Garcia and Chris Smelley, who are both expected to play Saturday, can take full advantage of the SEC’s worst defense. Garcia, who has started the last two games for the ‘Cocks, has made strides this year as signal caller.
“Stephen still has a lot of bad habits,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said after Wednesday’s practice. “He wants to leave the pocket when sometimes he doesn’t have to.”
Yes, Coach Spurrier, that is the most threatening “bad habit” young Stephen suffers from right now in his life. A website devoted to keeping up with Garcia recently proclaimed that he has learned lessons from his mistakes, and he “continues to keep his hair short and his nose clean.” And all this time we thought he was just a lush.
South Carolina 27
TENNESSEE-MARTIN at AUBURN (1:30 p.m.)
Why are there 12 games in a college football regular season? So Division I-A teams can schedule at least one “gimme” game? Why would Auburn even schedule to play a Division I-AA school ever again after the computers and some voters used opponent The Citadel to belittle the Tigers’ 2004 strength of schedule? Will Auburn fire Tuberville? How exactly does the posi-trac rear end on a Plymouth work?
Questions abound for the Auburn Tigers. Better watch out for Tennessee-Martin. Just ask Alabama, which lost to Louisiana-Monroe last year (ULM is Division I-A, but plays in the Sun Belt Conference, which is basically Division I-AA). It can’t possibly get any worse for Auburn, so the Tigers will pounce the poor Skyhawks this weekend.
FLORIDA at VANDERBILT (7:00 p.m. / ESPN2)
GEORGIA at KENTUCKY (11:30 a.m. / Raycom)
Don’t allow any prior meltdowns by either of these two teams fool you. They both play pretty well against mediocre teams. Wish we could say this one will be a great battle to watch because it’s always fun to know that on any weekend a classic game may be forever memorialized by the Daves on Raycom/Lincoln Financial/Jefferson-Pilot, but we can’t.
According to several injury reports, the combined injured player total for these two teams is anywhere between 25 and 30 players. Kentucky has more though. And Georgia is better.
WYOMING at TENNESSEE (12:00 p.m. / PPV)
What a rough season it’s been for Tennessee. The loss to UCLA in the opener was heart wrenching, not only for the Rocky Top Nation, but also for all SEC fans, who collectively groaned, “Not again!” Not again did the Vols hike out to California and get beat by an inferior PAC-10 team.
Not again did Phil Fulmer’s squad embarrass the Southeastern Conference on ABC, for everyone to see. It did happen again though, but this time it was on ABC on a Monday night, so EVERYONE watched it (except our father who was probably watching TiVoed Law & Order episodes from 2005 that he’s already seen at least seven times before).
And that was only the beginning. No need to rehash the Vols’ 2008 season from that infamous Monday to now. It has been brutal and bloody and, quite frankly, downright vomitous. The SEC as we have known it for 17 years was jiggled as violently as Fulmer’s neck jelly with his recent “resignation.”
Hopefully the members of both schools of thought in Knoxville can come together to replace the veteran coach. For now, however, Tennessee football is in a dire state of Suck.
But Tennessee’s opponent this weekend, the Wyoming Cowboys, now they really suck. The Vols will win one big for the big guy.